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Afghanistan Thrash Uganda by 125 Runs in Dominant T20 World Cup Opener

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Afghanistan kick off their T20 World Cup campaign in style, crushing Uganda by a massive 125 runs. Gurbaz and Zadran star with the bat, while Farooqi takes a fifer to dismantle Uganda.

Afghanistan Crush Uganda in Comprehensive T20 World Cup Victory

Afghanistan began their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 campaign in emphatic fashion, demolishing debutants Uganda by a commanding 125 runs at the Providence Stadium in Guyana. A magnificent opening partnership between Rahman Ullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran laid the foundation for Afghanistan’s dominant performance. The bowlers then complemented the batsmen’s efforts with a clinical display, led by the impressive Fazalhaq Farooqi’s five-wicket haul.

Clinical Bowling Seals the Deal

Afghanistan Following the dismissal of Gurbaz, wickets began to fall at regular intervals for Afghanistan. However, the remaining batsmen continued to contribute valuable runs, ensuring a strong finish to the innings. Mohammad Nabi, the experienced all-rounder, chipped in with a quickfire 23 runs off 15 balls, while Najibullah Zadran added a cameo of 18 runs off 11 deliveries. Afghanistan eventually posted a daunting total of 183 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in their allotted 20 overs.

Uganda’s chase never really got going. Openers Simon Ssesazi and Roger Mukasa fell cheaply to Fazalhaq Farooqi, the left-arm pacer who troubled the Ugandan batsmen with his pace and accuracy. Farooqi continued to wreak havoc, picking up three more wickets in quick succession, including the prized scalp of captain Brian Masaba.

None of the Ugandan batsmen were able to build a significant innings. Wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals, with Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s spin twins, sharing three wickets between them. Uganda were eventually bundled out for a mere 58 runs in just 16 overs, handing Afghanistan a comprehensive victory.

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Gurbaz and Zadran Blitz Uganda’s Attack

Afghanistan Opting to bat first after winning the toss, Afghanistan openers Gurbaz and Zadran took the Ugandan bowling attack to the cleaners from the outset. The pair displayed an aggressive intent, finding the boundary with ease and punishing any loose deliveries. Gurbaz, known for his explosive batting, was particularly brutal, smashing six sixes and five fours in his scintillating 45-ball 76. Zadran, the more composed of the two, played a crucial supporting role, accumulating a well-made 70 off 46 deliveries.

Their 154-run opening stand, the highest for Afghanistan in T20 World Cup history, completely took the game away from Uganda. The Ugandan bowlers, lacking experience at this level, struggled to contain the flow of runs. Veteran spinner Bilal Hassan provided some respite with two wickets, but the damage had already been done.

Middle Order Adds Flourish

Afghanistan After the dismissal of the openers, the Afghan middle-order continued the momentum. Mohammad Nabi, renowned for his big-hitting abilities, smashed a quickfire 28 off 17 balls, further accelerating the scoring rate. Najibullah Zadran also chipped in with a valuable 18 off 12 deliveries, ensuring Afghanistan posted a daunting total of 183 for 5 on the board.

Farooqi Runs Riot with Fifer

Uganda’s chase never really got going as the Afghan bowling attack exposed their vulnerabilities. Left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi was the wrecker-in-chief, claiming a career-best five wickets for just nine runs in his four overs. His fiery pace and accurate bowling proved too much for the Ugandan batsmen, who were dismissed for a paltry 58 runs in just 16 overs.

Openers Simon Ssesazi and Roger Mukasa showed some early promise but were both dismissed by Farooqi within the powerplay. The rest of the batting lineup collapsed under the pressure, with none of the batsmen managing to reach double figures. Rashid Khan, the Afghan captain, chipped in with two wickets, while Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Naveen-ul-Haq also picked up a wicket each.

Dominant Performance Sets Tone for Afghanistan

This comprehensive victory sets the tone for Afghanistan’s T20 World Cup campaign. Their batting display was a masterclass in opening partnerships, while the bowling attack displayed their potency and ability to take wickets in clusters. Uganda, on the other hand, will need to go back to the drawing board and address their shortcomings, particularly in their batting, if they are to register a win in the tournament.

Player of the Match: Rahmanullah Gurbaz

Gurbaz’s explosive knock at the top of the order was instrumental in setting up Afghanistan’s win. His quickfire 76, laced with six sixes, put Uganda on the back foot from the very beginning and laid the foundation for a mammoth total.

Looking Ahead

Afghanistan will be brimming with confidence after this emphatic victory. Their next challenge will be against a more formidable opponent in Group C, while Uganda will be desperate to bounce back in their next match. This tournament promises to be an exciting one, with teams vying for the coveted T20 World Cup crown.

Key Takeaways:

  • Afghanistan dominated Uganda in all aspects of the game, winning by a massive 125 runs.
  • A brilliant opening partnership of 154 runs between Gurbaz and Zadran set the tone for Afghanistan’s batting dominance.
  • Farooqi’s five-wicket haul dismantled Uganda’s batting order, restricting them to a meager 58 runs.
  • This win gives Afghanistan a strong start to their T20 World Cup campaign.

Follow-up Stories:

  • How can Uganda improve their batting for the next match?

Reference – Afghanistan vs Uganda Live Score, Match 5 of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, 2024

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